tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC January 12, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST
>> tonight, jaw dropping profane comments from donald trump on haiti and african countries during a conversation on immigration. the president then suggesting allowing more people in from norway. plus, steve bannon lawyers up as he and another former trump campaign manager corey lewandowski reportedly gear up for testimony in the russia investigation. and as a candidate donald trump's doctor said he'd be the healthiest individual ever elect the. president trump is scheduled for a physical tomorrow. we have all of it as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a thursday night. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 357 of the trump administration and on so many previous nights, if you're among our regular viewers, you know we've reported on what's been described as surprising or even shocking comments from this president. but tonight we begin with a report of truly astonishing offensive and racist remarks attributed to the commander in chief of this nation. they include a word not allowed to be spoken in most households where children are present. the wouding at the bottom of your screen is indeed a first for all of us. the quotes were first reported late this afternoon by josh of
the washington post who will join us here in just a moment. president trump using the expletive on your screen familiar to a lot of us but unusual coming from our president during an oval office meeting with lawmakers at the white house to work out a bipartisan deal on immigration policy. washington post reports that the president became frustrated, and according to several people briefed on the meeting, he asked, quote, why are we having all these people from blank hole countries come here, trump said, according to these people, referring to african countries and haiti. he then suggested that the united states should instead bring more people from countries like norway. the post continues, why do we need more haitians, trump said, according to people familiar with the meeting. take them out. our nbc news colleagues kasie hunt and ali vatali briefed on the meeting confirm the president's remarks. here's how the white house responded without a denial, notably, quote, certain washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but
president trump will always fight for the american people. the president will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration, two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country. we should note "the new york times" filed a report last month about another meeting back in june during which the president referred to haitians saying, quote, they all have aids, he grumpibled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it. he is reported to have added about nigerians once they had seen the united states, they would never go back to their huts in africa, recalled the two officials. the white house denied those comments at the time. there have been many reactions to these reports of tonight's comments, republican congresswoman me a love of the state of utah who happens to be a haitian american. issued this statement, she writes, quote, the president's
comments are unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation's values. this behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation. my parents came from one of those countries, but proudly took an oath of allegiance to the united states and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with. the president must apologize to both the american people and the nations he so wantonly maligned. this came from the congressional black caucus. quote, president trump's comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views. it also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the president's slogan, make america great again, is really code for make america white again. let us turn to our lead-off panel for a thursday night. josh dow si, white house reporter for the washington post who again broke this story this afternoon. we welcome back to our broadcast franco ordonez for mcclatchy newspapers who covers
immigration and foreign affairs. michelle from bloomberg last seen by us participating in today's white house briefing in the press room. josh, walk us through your reporting and set the scene where this quote occurred. >> right. to use what we understand happened today, brian, there were a number of senators and congressmen who came to the oval office for a meeting on daca. it was a bipartisan meeting. they hoped to present the president with a deal on immigration that gave him some money for his wall, gave him some money for other measures, cushing the visa lottery system, while extending the daca provision. in the meeting, the bipartisan group said to the president that they wanted to curb the number of folks in the visa lottery like the president did, by 50%. but in the 50%, they wanted to make sure those folks were from protected countries, from some african countries, from haiti. the president then said this, as you reported, he doesn't want
people from the ship hole countries in haiti. he didn't want any more people from haiti. make sure they were out of the deal. he made it clear he wanted immigrants from places like norway. i'm sure he also said asian countries where he thinks they will be well educated folks who come here who can economically contribute to america. he was very clear on the kinds of immigrants he wanted and where he did not want them from. and it kind of took lawmakers aback. i think the comments were a bit mystifying to folks in the room. it's just not something they expected the president of the united states to say. >> franco, political types tonight couldn't say fast enough, well, you know, the base will either greet this or welcome this or certainly dismiss it. it's one way to look at it. the other way to look at it is the continent of africa home to, what, just shy of a billion people, home to some of our very best men and women in uniform, american members of the armed forces. and as they like to say, the
whole world is watching. people can hear these words. >> no doubt. i mean, this is -- these are top stories and so much of the european press. this is the kind of thing unfortunately that can kind of whip up anti-american sentiment and that is what is going on with the bursts donald trump has said. as you point out, not many people know, but we have a lot of troops in africa. we have 6000 troops the pentagon announced recently in africa after the four troops that passed away. these type of comments are not going to make their life, the work that they're doing, any easier. the same could be said about haiti. in el salvador. there is an anti-immigrant sentiment there that can be drumd up and that's not going to be good for our diplomats and/or our relationship with allies. >> of course, this is also the anniversary of the earthquake that leveled parts of haiti, what, eight years ago. shannon, no denial from the
white house, but have you picked up any regrets on your radar? >> not yet. as you read that statement, was certainly not a denial, not back walking these comments. they have denied comments that the white house had made previously. those comments that you had read about the president saying "the new york times" reporter the haitians all have aids. they could have denied this, but there were too many people in the room and too many confirmed the reporting that josh first broke. do they regret it? now i think they are going to see this is going to make it harder to come up with some sort of immigration deal, which was the whole point of all this. the republicans have been working diligently to try and get some deal with the democrats. they are trying to frame this immigration debate as one about national security, about stopping drugs, stopping crime. and then the president makes these comments that portray it so clearly as an issue of immigration on the immigrants we want versus the ones we don't. and by the way, the immigrants we want are white and the
immigrants we don't just happen to be black or african -- you know, from africa or from haiti. >> josh, i know your report and in this case break stories for a living and you don't engage in political analysis. but what of the gop plans to expand that tent? what do people say to you when you call around for reaction? >> well, brian, i want to make one other point what you said to shannon. we took all of our reporting to the white house today and said do you want to dispute any of this? is there anything in here that's incorrect and they did not dispute any of it or did not say any of it was incorrect. in your statement as you saw was a nondenial denial. we haven't heard much from the gop tonight. we've seen a little bit of mia love's comments you read on the air earlier. we haven't from mcconnell, we haven't heard from paul ryan. there is an appetite from gop leaders who were at camp david with the president this weekend to try to help him build the
base a little bit more for 2018. they're facing a difficult year. you have a president whose approval numbers have hovered in the 30s. sometimes in the lower 40s, but often in 30s. it's kind of a drag on the party. and you have gop leaders who have a lot of battle ground competitive states that they really need to compete in. and the president is not helping that. i think they, you know, would love to see the president strike more of an inclusive tone. but i don't know, brian, that we're going to see the president do that. i mean, he's 71 years old. i don't think he's changed much since he came in the oval office. he sees this as the biggest validation of his life. and if you talk to his advisors privately, they say, you know, he won because of immigration and politically incorrect speak and saying what everyone else thinks or what his supporters think, at least. i don't think you're going to see any regrets here on this. >> franco, before we talk immigration, watch along with us some of the recorded history of one donald trump on immigration and, in many cases, people who
are simply unlike him. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? you know what, i wish he would because i think it's a terrible pal that's hanging over him. i should show his birth certificate. >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. donald trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hill is going on. i've had horrible rulings, i've been treated very unfairly by this judge. this judge is a mexican. i'm building a wall. our plan favors applicants who can speak english. you were long here before any of us were here, although we have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago. they call her pocahontas.
>> so, franco, with that as our baseline, what does donald trump do to josh's point when he's asked about this as early as tomorrow when he has a proclamation signing in honor of the reverend dr. martin luther king, jr., and what happens now to an immigration deal? >> you know, i think josh is right. i don't see the president backing down. i see him, you know, kind of trying to explain around it. how will it impact the immigration deal? i think it can provide some challenges. i also don't think he's going to back down in any ways and he's going to keep pushing forward on this issue and pushing these as hard as it is. i think he's trying to set a strong, a strong border enforcement type measure. and i think what you're seeing is a pattern that he's showing. he hasn't apologized once. you played those clips. you mentioned the comments in
the summer about haiti. you also have the australian comments that he made to the australian prime minister about the refugees, saying that he doesn't want any of these refugees, that i know they're bad people. i'd hate to take them. this is just -- unfortunately this is a president who is not moving forward on these issues. there's kind of this -- kind of like a handle with care type label that the presidency has. but he doesn't necessarily want to handle these things with care. >> and, shannon, i was watching you today watching the briefing at the white house. and it's clear the wolff book still looms and still affects and infects everything in that west wing, arguably it motivated the suddenly live televised bipartisan meeting and hasn't all that been washed away by this? >> and just a few hours before the story came out, there was an interview the president gave to "the wall street journal" that comparatively was on message, talking about nafta, talking about trade, a lot of economic issues that he wanted to talk
about. and that was certainly undercut just a couple hours later by this report that came out. the president gets his physical tomorrow at walter reed. so, amid all these questions over the past week or so about his mental fitness that have been drawn up by this wolff book, he'll go in for his physical. the white house has already been asked and said there will be no psychological exam. there traditionally isn't for presidential physicals. of course information we get out of this physical will be determined by trump himself who can release it. but, yes, this week has turned into a persistent continuing question about the president's demeanor, his fitness despite attempts for the white house to change the subject. >> our audience joins me in thanking the members of our lead-off panel especially josh dawsey who had a better than journalist day. we thank you for ending your night with us and franco ordonez and shannon petty peace. coming up, more in a string
of developments in the white house complete with a policy whiplash just today. and news in the russia investigations, excommunicated trump strategist steve bannon has lawyered up. plus strange comments from this president about kim jong-un. that and more on a thursday night when the 11th hour continues.
least one prong of it. he will appear before the house intelligence committee next tuesday to answer questions about trump campaign contact with russians. nbc news has confirmed that bannon has retained an attorney to represent him, same lawyer that's representing white house counsel don mcgahn and former white house chief of staff reince priebus. the daily beast first broke that news, reporting that, quote, until recently, bannon had largely avoided becoming publicly ensnared in the russia investigation. but behind the scenes bannon sought to play a role in team trump's handling of the issue. that fall out was due to the russia probe. it came after michael wolff's book quoted in "fire and fury" saying the infamous trump tower meeting was treasonous. in a "wall street journal" interview today, the president continued his distancing of himself from steve bannon. quote, steve had nothing to do with my win. well, certainly very little. steve's greatest asset is he was able to convince a corrupt media that he was responsible for my win.
i mean, he was there. corey lewandowski had more to do with it, close quote. speaking of lewandowski, there are reports the house committee wants to speak with him along with first daughter and white house aide ivanka trump. as for the president, he continues to dodge questions about his willingness to speak with special counsel robert mueller. this is what he said back in june. >> would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of -- >> 100%. >> so, if robert mueller wanted to speak to you about that -- >> i would be glad to tell him exactly what i just told you. >> that was then, sunny day in the rose garden. today when asked that exact question in his "wall street journal" interview, he would say only this. quote, look, there has never been in the history of this country an administration that, number one, did nothing wrong, and number two, was more open with a special counsel. here to talk about all of that, ashley parker, white house
reporter for the washington post and an msnbc political analyst. and frank faglusi is with us, former fbi director for counter intelligence who in the past has worked for robert mueller among others. he is an nbc news national security analyst. ashley, how does the proposition of steve bannon, corey lewandowski and possibly the president's daughter and white house aide ivanka raising their hands and being sworn in, how will that sit with this president and this white house? >> it's certainly a blast from the past in some ways with steve bannon and corey lewandowski. the person on that list if she ever does in fact go and testify that will bother the president the most is, of course, ivanka trump, his daughter. we have seen on a number of instances while he's willing to sort of handle a lot of incoming criticism from a number of people, anything that gets close to coming after his family, his children is one of the areas where he just deeply draws the line, is almost immediately publicly upset. i will say with steve bannon, you have to assume the most
interesting thing in that fairly interesting michael wolff book where bannon's comments about the trump tower meeting where he said that don junior and jared kushner, their behavior there with the russians was treasonous and unpatriotic, you have to assume that that is something that is going to come up in that, questions will come up in that closed door at the point of the >> franks, if i had the power to appoint you for chief investigator for house intel, what do you want to ask steve bannon? >> yeah, i think i would lead off with the question of what he meant when he said that trump tower meeting was treasonous, and then partially retracted it to say he was only referring to treason by manafort. and he felt manafort as a seasoned campaign person should know it is potentially illegal to meet with a foreign government. i think all of that would come up because it is diametrically opposed to what the president told "the wall street journal"
today, which is that any politician in washington would have gladly met with foreign government representatives to get dirt on their opponents. so, lots of room for complete clashes of statements prior, current and future. >> and, ashley, does your reporting take it as established fact that we have two parallel tracks going on here? we have whatever the president is saying about the possibility of an interview with robert mueller, and we have the reality, and that is that attorneys from both sides are talking about the scope of the kinds of questions that will be asked at the inevitable interview of donald trump? >> that's right. i think the second track is both the far more intriguing track, and the far more reality-based one. the truth is the real question is not necessarily whether mueller's investigators will want to interview the president.
of course they will. the president in the "wall street journal" article acted as if he didn't need to address that question or worry about it because obviously there is no collusion, no obstruction of justice. why would he ever be called. the reality is behind the scenes, the president's lawyers are trying to figure out just how much protection they can offer him and just how far he'll have to go, if he'll have to answer questions in person, if mueller's investigators will settle for written answers, which is of course what the president's lawyers would prefer. but i think the real track to watch, of course, is that second one where there is going to be some sort of interaction between the president and the investigators in the russia probe, and everyone right now is just trying to debate the nuances of exactly what that will be. >> and, frank, as i mention in his public utterances, you can hear the president's reluctance, you can hear his doubts. what happens if he tries to say no? >> yeah, there's been a clear shift in tone and it's
increasingly becoming apparent that i think he's laying the groundwork for quite a battle, potentially ugly battle with mueller's team over whether this interview occurs at all. i think he's risking be hauled in front of a grand jury. i think his attorneys are having difficulty controlling him. and i'm really -- i'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is going to be an ugly debate with the mueller team over this interview. >> two of our very best. thank you so much for joining us on a thursday night. ashley parker, frank figlusi, our thanks to you both. coming up for us, the house votes to reauthorize warrantless wiretapping, but it almost didn't happen that way because of the president's twitter account. that and more when we continue.
the trump white house has for days been emphasizing the importance of a continuing, a key nsa surveillance program known by the lofty title of section 702 of the fisa amendments act. fisa, meaning foreign intelligence surveillance act, that's why it created a shock this morning when donald trump tweeted out his disapproval of the program saying, quote, house votes on controversial fisa act today. this is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the trump campaign by the
previous administration and others? unreference, question mark. trump's tweet seemed to conflate the vote today with the larger fisa program. it also came shortly after a segment highlighting the fisa program aired on his morning show favorite, fox and friends. >> i don't understand why donald trump is in favor of this. his woes began with unlawful foreign surveillance and unconstitutional domestic surveillance of him before he was the president of the united states. and now he wants to institutional ize this. mr. president, this is not the way to go. spying is valid to find the foreign agents among us, but it's got to be based on suspicion and not an area code. >> his tweet came soon after that aired and then later when asked at the white house briefing sarah huckabee sanders doubled down support for trump's narrative. >> trump on the president's first tweet this morning on fisa, when he said that it may
have been used, the fisa act, to surveil and abuse the campaign, what specifically was he talking about there? may and abuse and surveil. could you point us in the direction? >> look, i think this is something we've talked about many times before. there are a lot of things that indicate that there was surveillance at trump tower and i'm not sure what the clarification is deeded on that front. >> less than two hours after his original tweet and it caused a lot of commotion on capitol hill, the president was back on twitter contradicting himself saying, quote, with that being said, i have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. we need it. get smart. despite the last-minute confusion over the president's stance, 702's renewal did pass the house. it's headed to the senate for debate. with us tonight to talk about
all of it, chuck rosenberg worked as counsel to mueller when he was fbi director, senior staff to comey, also a former u.s. attorney himself. former federal prosecutor currently an msnbc contributor. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon who helped draft the original section 702. he's also an msnbc national security analyst. we also welcome to the broadcast tonight deb reit man, national security reporter for the associated press. so, jeremy, because you were present at the creation of this and one of the drafters, explain what a 702 is and make the case for it. >> it's an authority to conduct surveillance against foreigners outside the united states, take, for example, a terrorist in pakistan whose communications happen to traverse the united states. and when the fbi and the department of justice want to read that person's e-mail or understand what they're plotting against the united states, they can essentially conduct the surveillance without going to
the judges of the fisa court each time to get an individualized warrant, which is what you would need to get against an american. so, when the president stood up today and woke up this morning and tweeted, hey, this was an authority used against me to surveil me. no, it wasn't. this is an authority used against foreigners, principally terrorists overseas. it has absolutely nothing to his bogus claims about obama wiretapping trump tower. >> so, chuck, even a layperson with an interest in this could assume that the intel the president gets in his briefings as a consumer, the ultimate consumer, is a result often of these 702s. what kind of confusion do you think his tweet sowed in the intel community this morning? >> well, the intel community knows and jeremy knows well that 702 is a rich source of information for the president. every day that he receives a brief, undoubtedly he's getting some stuff from 702. i wanted to add one thing to what jeremy said. he's spot on.
but we also know that 702 has been very effective in this country and has saved lives. i'll give you an example, brian. in 2009 we learned about a plot using the authority of 702 to monitor a real bad guy, someone affiliated with al qaeda overseas which led us to a man in denver, fella named zasi whose intent was to blow up the new york city subway system. so, not only is it a source of information for the president in his daily briefing when he takes that, but it's also occasionally a source of information for the fbi and for law enforcement to save american lives. >> deb, at the other end of this story, the other consumer end where it affects your beat, how crazy did it get this morning? in effect, what did the president do with his cell phone in hand? >> well, covering surveillance law is a pretty tedious job in most days, but not so today. the intel community, the fbi
director, the head of the nsa, the cia director, they have all been out in public on a full core press trying to push this bill through. they wanted to push their version of the bill. they didn't get exactly what they wanted, but right down to the last wire here we were ready to have a vote, and then the tweets began and just threw the house in complete disarray. the ranking democrat on the house intel committee, representative adam schiff, he said that they could only imagine the expletives that were flying in the intel community and perhaps even the cabinet after trump tweeted. we could barely get the news out on the first tweet before he tweeted again and was like doing a u-turn. and anyway, it just sort of all played out very, very quickly this morning and a lot of
confusion. >> chuck, how do you convince people that warrantless, when they hear that word, doesn't mean reckless? >> good question, brian. warrantless sounds nefarious. >> right. >> but the 4th amendment talks about the need to get a warrant for u.s. persons on u.s. soil to state with particularity, the thing you're looking for and what you expect to find. it precludes unreasonable searches. so, the question really is, is searching or listening to or intercepting the communications of a foreign person on foreign soil for foreign intelligence purposes unreasonable? and the answer overwhelmingly in the courts of the united states is no. that's perfectly reasonable. it's not a 4th amendment issue. no warrants required. it's really as simple as that. >> jeremy, we have well established that if you want the president's attention, say something on "fox and friends." does today's episode in all seriousness worry you about the
intel and information coming into his life? >> it worries me, and i think it worries a lot of people in the intelligence community because he can effectively disregard them and credit the word -- a mistaken word of a fox news guest or fox news host. so, america's best spies had to spring into action this morning to neutral ize not a terrorist overseas, but in fact our own commander in chief. >> and, deb, what is next for this bill finally? i know rand paul has been a big name critic. but does this go back to smooth sailing? >> it could have an e-zpassage -- easy passage in the senate, although there are people who are going to fight for greater protections for americans. the bill did pass the house and went to the senate, is supported by the white house. the administration had additionally wanted a clean
re-authorization, meaning there are no changes, just reup the existing law. they didn't get that. but the main thrust of the support for more restrictions was in the house, and the votes were really not expected to be in the senate. rand paul says he's going to filibuster anything that doesn't have strict protections. we have to see how that's going to play out. i think it's going to pass. people believe it's going to pass. the president said he's going to sign it. the question becomes how will the fbi actually implement this new tweak in the law that says they have to get a warrant in certain -- very certain cases in communications. >> deb, you are setting up our next conversation for when we revisit this entire conversation. for now our thanks to chuck rosenberg, jeremy bash and deb for joining us tonight on this important topic after this wild day.
back to fisa, many people are interpreting that first tweet from the president to mean he didn't actually know how fisa works and for that matter that he wasn't familiar with his own administration's policy. >> that's all right. >> does he know fisa, was he familiar with poll sni >> he does, which is why he issued a presidential memo last week expressing concerns and asking for a review of it, which is also why dni put out a new policy this morning. this is top of mind for the president, top of mind for the administration, and he has a full understanding. >> so, you see, the white house there defending the president's knowledge of today's fisa vote despite his conflicting tweet on the subject this morning. the president's confusion over official white house policy was also evident earlier in the week when republicans rushed to correct him at that bipartisan
immigration meeting. >> what about a clean daca bill now? >> i have no -- i think that's basically what dick is saying. we're going to come up with daca, we're going to do daca, and we can start immediately on the phase two, which would be comprehensive -- >> would you be agreeable to that? >> i would like -- go ahead. i think a lot of people would like to see that. but i think we have to do daca first. >> mr. president, you need to be clear, though. i think what senator feinstein is asking here, when we talk about just daca, we don't want to be back here two years later. you have to have security as the secretary would tell you. >> but i think that's what she's saying. >> no, no, i think she's saying something -- >> so, you see, moments like that and this new michael wolff book that's out have only fueled this discussion about fitness for office. last night on this network ari mel berg spoke with washington lawyer jay berman who as a young congressional aid in indiana worked to get the 25th amendment passed. it has to do with the removal of a president.
last night ari asked him whether it could be applied today. >> do you see anything from your knowledge of being part of drafting this amendment that it would be anywhere in the ballpark of being applied here? >> today no. >> why not? >> because i think there's a difference between unable and unfit. i think this president is unfit because i disagree with virtually everything he says and does. but i don't think he's unable. in fact, if i go back, i think the fundamental issue here is we always envisioned the removal of a president under section 4 as a political act, informed by medical authorities and decision making. but a political act to remove a duly elected president. donald trump was elected to do exactly these things by the people who voted. >> let's talk about this topic with pulitzer prize winning author and historian john
meecham, and republican strategist mike murphy who worked with gop candidates like mccain, romney and bush among others. john, i looked at your piece in time magazine, the headline is, could the 25th amendment be trump's downfall? here's how it works. tell us how it works. >> well, we're talking about section 4 of the amendment, and the issue is, as the attorney just said, a question less of fitness and of capacity, of ability. and so what could happen is the vice-president could, in a crisis with either a majority of the cabinet or there is a provision that congress can authorize a different kind of body, maybe a panel of medical experts, they could write a letter saying they believe the president should be temporarily removed from power, the vice-president should become the acting president in what is one of the great bits of nerd porn
ever. there could then be a process by which the president challenged that. the vice-president and the majority of the cabinet or the other body could say, no, we really meant it. and then it goes to the congress and it has to be -- the vice-president's decision has to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of each house. in a way, it could go back and forth. it's one of the more -- it's kind of the constitutional tennis match. but it was -- the 25th amendment which was ratified after in twisk, after the eisenhower health issues, kennedy's assassination. it was trying to foresee something that was extreme. i think if we're ever talking about it, i suspect it's going to be beyond, far beyond where we are now, and in a situation probably military standoff, where the people closest to the president believe that he's unable to act rationally. >> so, mike, here we are having this discussion and we're not
alone, especially among networks like this that cover news 24/7. so, rate the current amount of difficulty that republicans have with this president. >> well, it's pretty difficult. i do think he may be a genius indeed because he switched the topic today from whether or not he's crazy to racism. so, maybe that was tactically a adroit. that's the world we're in now. fox and friends has more influence than the joint chiefs of staff. i agree with john. the 25th amendment is a long reach. he can show up to a cabinet meeting in a bunny suit and this cabinet would vote to invoke it. i think the real threat is political, and that comes down to if the democrats win the house, which the president seems to be trying to help, i think they will move to impeach him. so, we could have an impeachment panel starting there. you know, we're in a chaos presidency now and it's kind of hard to see forward. i think the 25th amendment stuff is overwritten.
i think the fear in the republican party about the political chances and the trouble that this president has put us into is quite high. >> hard to believe we're having this conversation. hey, john, as 41's biographer, i know you remember this moment even though we were young children when it happened. before he was 41, after the vp debate with geraldine ferraro, he goes out on the road the next day, i believe a group of long shore men, and the boom mic picked up the following come. it's quick, we have to listen up. so, he used the "a" word and it sent news organizations into panic. how do we deal with this foul language on our air? you've seen the word we're covering tonight and isn't it interesting how times change? >> to paraphrase henry adams, the movement from george h.w. bush to donald trump disproves darwin. i don't really see we're progressing or evolving in the right way.
you know, this is a course thing of the culture. what's so remarkable and what we're going to be dealing with for a long time is the fact that the person who in the office of which franklin roosevelt said, it is preeminently a place of moral leadership, that person himself is kind of the chief course ener, if that's the word at the moment. that's beyond -- that's almost a separate question from the legal question. mike mentioned his impeachment, the 25th amendment. the issue here is these are -- those are legal steps. you can't really impeach a president simply because you don't like him, you know, that you disagree with him. so, if there is to be that kind of step forward, it's going to be coming, i suspect, out of the russia investigation. and so it's what don rumsfeld would call at this point a known unknown. >> and, mike, you get the last lightning round question,
serious question. how does the gop make that big tent argument now and say, we love you all, come one and come all to our party? >> the president of the united states has shut down that argument for the foreseeable future. and i think out of the rubble, the price we're going to pay, it will have to be reconstructed long after donald trump is no longer in republican politics. >> again, some of these conversations we're having tonight are hard to believe. here we are in the first month of 2018. our thanks to john meecham, mike murphy, two of the ja gentlemen we like to hear often on this broadcast. appreciate it, thank you very much. kim jong-un getting high marks from an unlikely source when our broadcast continues.
he called the leader shrewd politician. somehow they have a copy of michael wolff's book, "fire and fury." the book for tells trump's political demised. since the book published, it triggers the debate whether trump is qualified. but, it was an interesting trump quote about kim jong-un from an interview today with the wall street journal that made news tonight mostly because people cannot figure out what it means. the president is quoted assaying in this interview, "i probably have a good relationship with kim jong-un, i have relationships with people. i think you people are surprised." the president would not say if that meant he's actually spoken with the north korean leader. one more break for us here, when we come back why tomorrow is a big day for the president and a big test for the white house press office and something no civilians look forward to. last thing before we go here this evening, i don't know if
physical. he predicted his results will be great. he took upon himself that if the results are not great, the market will go down. physicals don't get more physical or official than it is conducted. lets remember this is his personal physician back in new york. doctor harold boorstin who says about candidate trump. "if elected, mr. trump, i can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to presidency." >> another drug for hair growth. we'll now conceivably learn of any new meds the president is taking. tomorrow's examination by the way will be performed by doctor ronnie jackson, he's the white house's physician. his title refers to only his rank in the u.s. navy, he previously serves as physician as to president obama and in light of speculation that the white house may not be forthcoming about the
president's results, doctor jackson himself will brief the press core on the president's medical condition on tuesday of next week we are told. there is also this we mentioned earlier that the president departs for his physical rights after he signs the proclamation in honor of the reverend doctor martin luther king jr. for us, that's our broadcast on this thursday night, thank you for being here with us, good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.